giant Cypress

A monk asked Joshu, “What is the meaning of
Bodhidharma's coming to China?”
Joshu said, “The oak tree in the garden.”

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Zen?”
Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the yard.”
giant Cypress
Wilbur Pan lives in New Jersey, and is responsible for what goes on here. This is mainly about Japanese woodworking tools and other wooddorking things. Plus stupid jokes.

You can ask a question using the “Ask” link above, or through the contact information at the bottom of the page.

   Anonymous asked:

Hi Wilbur, I have always wanted to try a Japanese plane and chisels. I currently use Stanley planes. I am hoping some advise from you would help a newbie. Would you recommend a smoother or scraper plane to start with. Also what would you advise for chisels. I'm hoping not to break the bank to get my feet wet with a couple of Japanese tools. I appreciate any help. Sicerely, Bill F.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it.

As far as the plane goes, if you’re feeling confident, start with a 70mm smoother. If you’re feeling less gutsy, try a 60 or 65mm plane. The narrower plane blade is a little easier to set up. A scraper plane is good for conditioning the sole of the smoother, but there are other ways to do that.

For Japanese chisels, there are a ton of good options. I have the Fujihiro brand chisels made by Imai, available at Hida Tool. I like those chisels a lot.

I think that the best way of figuring out which brand/dealer/blacksmith to go with takes a bit of a different mindset than what woodworkers are used to, mainly because no one is going to do a Fine Woodworking-style Japanese chisel shootout and award Best Overall and Best Value titles. We’re used to comparing and contrasting features and performance, and that information is not really going to be forthcoming in a way that’s meaningful.

I think that we should keep in mind that Japanese tool sellers are really not out to screw woodworkers over. All of them know that if they do a good job selling one chisel, then that woodworker is likely to buy ten more from them.

So talk to all of the dealers, and ask them for advice on a Japanese chisel. You’ll get varying answers, but one of them is going to resonate with you more than the others. Buy tools from that dealer. Again, this takes a different mindset, and requires a bit of a leap of faith. But the rewards will be great.

(Disclaimer: I don’t get any kickback for recommending tools. The Christopher Schwarz ethics policy is in effect.)

Fibonacci cabinet, by Wang Peng, Studiout:

The design idea comes from the traditional Chinese medicine storage units, where all the drawers are the same size. In order to satisfy the multi- functional requirement, the designer Wang Peng from Studiout apply the principles of the Fibonacci sequence to rearrange every size of these units in series.
Zoom Info
Fibonacci cabinet, by Wang Peng, Studiout:

The design idea comes from the traditional Chinese medicine storage units, where all the drawers are the same size. In order to satisfy the multi- functional requirement, the designer Wang Peng from Studiout apply the principles of the Fibonacci sequence to rearrange every size of these units in series.
Zoom Info
Fibonacci cabinet, by Wang Peng, Studiout:

The design idea comes from the traditional Chinese medicine storage units, where all the drawers are the same size. In order to satisfy the multi- functional requirement, the designer Wang Peng from Studiout apply the principles of the Fibonacci sequence to rearrange every size of these units in series.
Zoom Info
Fibonacci cabinet, by Wang Peng, Studiout:

The design idea comes from the traditional Chinese medicine storage units, where all the drawers are the same size. In order to satisfy the multi- functional requirement, the designer Wang Peng from Studiout apply the principles of the Fibonacci sequence to rearrange every size of these units in series.
Zoom Info

Fibonacci cabinet, by Wang Peng, Studiout:

The design idea comes from the traditional Chinese medicine storage units, where all the drawers are the same size. In order to satisfy the multi- functional requirement, the designer Wang Peng from Studiout apply the principles of the Fibonacci sequence to rearrange every size of these units in series.

At Woodworking in America, a Jet bandsaw was raffled off to a lucky attendee. Since I was lucky enough to be a presenter, I was asked to sign it along with the other presenters. I couldn’t help adding a little extra note.
I blame Patrick Edwards. You can see what he wrote in the top picture, just to the left of my note.
Zoom Info
At Woodworking in America, a Jet bandsaw was raffled off to a lucky attendee. Since I was lucky enough to be a presenter, I was asked to sign it along with the other presenters. I couldn’t help adding a little extra note.
I blame Patrick Edwards. You can see what he wrote in the top picture, just to the left of my note.
Zoom Info

At Woodworking in America, a Jet bandsaw was raffled off to a lucky attendee. Since I was lucky enough to be a presenter, I was asked to sign it along with the other presenters. I couldnt help adding a little extra note.

I blame Patrick Edwards. You can see what he wrote in the top picture, just to the left of my note.

Scorcese.
Precious.
Scene from my Japanese saw and chisel talk at Woodworking in America. Photo by Sean Wisniewski. Staging by Stanley Kubrick, again.

Scene from my Japanese saw and chisel talk at Woodworking in America. Photo by Sean Wisniewski. Staging by Stanley Kubrick, again.

Japanese woodworking resources

For my talks at Woodworking in America, I created a document of resources for folks interested in Japanese woodworking. Originally, I was going to provide this as a handout, but in an effort to save trees so we can all have more lumber to use, I created a downloadable PDF file. You can download the list here. I hope you enjoy it.

Packed up and ready to head off to Woodworking in America. I am simultaneously convinced that I have brought too much and not enough stuff to demo.

Packed up and ready to head off to Woodworking in America. I am simultaneously convinced that I have brought too much and not enough stuff to demo.